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Why is mononucleosis called "the kissing disease"?

ANSWER

Mono most often spreads by kissing. That's because the virus that causes mono can be found in your mouth. It lives in saliva (spit) and mucus.

When you kiss someone, you are mixing your saliva with theirs. If you have mono and share saliva, you are sharing the virus, too. Kissing or having sex with someone with mono makes you more likely to get the infection.

From: Mononucleosis in Teens FAQ WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

FamilyDoctor.org: "Mononucleosis."

American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children: "Mononucleosis."

CDC: "Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis."

The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook for Patients and Caregivers: "Epstein-Barr Virus Infection."

KidsHealth.org: "Reye syndrome" and "Expert Answers On..."

 

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on December 05, 2017

SOURCES:

FamilyDoctor.org: "Mononucleosis."

American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children: "Mononucleosis."

CDC: "Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis."

The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook for Patients and Caregivers: "Epstein-Barr Virus Infection."

KidsHealth.org: "Reye syndrome" and "Expert Answers On..."

 

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on December 05, 2017

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How can I catch mono?

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